During the Wii's lifespan there was one unavoidable fact, regardless of wonderful games and innovative experiences; it was a standard-definition system in an increasingly high-definition world. Its limitation to 480p and graphical capabilities that — brilliant art design aside — were struggling to keep up meant that it was, in some senses, an oddity on the market. Ultimately those limitations didn't prevent its success, with a highly affordable price and some exceptional games helping the system to roughly 100 million sales worldwide.
In an interview with 4Gamer, which is now being translated in greater detail by kamedani.tumblr.com, Shigeru Miyamoto discussed Pikmin 3, its development and eventual transition to Wii U. Those are topics covered previously, but this fresh translation expands on previous comments regarding the benefits of bringing the game to stronger hardware with high definition capabilities. Miyamoto admits that, perhaps in hindsight, Nintendo should have made the leap to HD earlier than it did.
I felt like I wanted to go to HD sooner.
Even for the Wii, no matter how much it made the system cost, it would have been great if it were HD in the first place. However, it was going to take some time for HD televisions to become common and we felt that until that point was reached, there would have been no point for Wii to be HD.
From our point of view, once the subsequent generation to Wii came around, HD televisions would be more common and we felt it would be time to make our games in HD then. However, HD became more common about 2 to 3 years earlier than we had anticipated. A main part of that was that the prices for HD televisions manufactured overseas had gone down at an unthinkable pace.
So, as a result, while we were right in the middle of selling the Wii, the TVs in people’s living rooms (editors note: in Japan) were slowly becoming HD sets. Overseas especially people had never so rapidly and drastically changed their hardware to the newest technology but in America as well HD TVs became standard little by little.
While the launch of the Wii did come at a time when HD TVs were still more expensive and less common, we don't think there's much doubt that the mass transition of the public perhaps caught Nintendo and the Wii out. Nevertheless, and despite struggles in its last 18-24 months as Nintendo's main home console, the Wii was a significant success.
Do you think Nintendo was a little too slow to switch to HD, or is the timing of the Wii U about right?